The Squid's Ear Magazine

Reboul, Mark / Roberta Piket / Billy Mintz

Seven Pieces / About an Hour / Saxophone, Piano, Drums

Reboul, Mark / Roberta Piket / Billy Mintz: Seven Pieces / About an Hour / Saxophone, Piano, Drums (ESP-Disk)

A sophisticated album of collective free jazz recorded in Brooklyn in 2004, from the trio of husband and wife improvisers Roberta Piket on piano and Billy Mintz on drums, with under-recorded saxophonist Mark Reboul rounding out the trio, as the three present "Seven Pieces" in "About an Hour" of stunningly elegant, implicitly melodic and impressively creative playing.

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Mark Reboul-saxophone

Roberta Piket-piano

Billy Mintz-drums

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

UPC: 825481504126

Label: ESP-Disk
Catalog ID: ESPDISK 5041CD
Squidco Product Code: 33600

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Two Systems, in Brooklyn New York, in 2004, by Jon Rosenberg.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"There are some jazz musicians long known by cognoscenti for a mere handful of recordings: Dupree Bolton, Earl Anderza, Hasaan Ibn-Ali, Alan Shorter, Dewey Johnson. Add saxophonist Mark Reboul to that list. Before the release of this album, his discography consisted of four tracks on three albums on which he was a sideman. On Higher Primates' Environmental Impressions (GM, 1987), he plays sax on two of the percussion-heavy album's five tracks: a fragmentary track, and a sixteen-and-a-half-minute improvisation; he has a percussion cameo (playing waterphone) on Bill Gerhardt and Cotangent's Stained Glass (SteepleChase, 2007); and on Gaelen McKenna's self-released 2004 album Woodbach, a Reboul improvisation is manipulated and looped. ESP-Disk is a label with a history of albums by under-documented musicians (Byron Allen, Lowell Davidson, Marzette Watts, Nedley Elstak) and thus the perfect label to redress the situation.

The other musicians in the trio heard here have been more prolific in the recording studio. Piket, daughter of a classical composer and a standards singer, got a degree from the New England Conservatory, studied with pianists Richie Beirach, Stanley Cowell, and Fred Hersch, and was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk BMI Composers Competition. She has a baker's dozen albums as a leader, a smattering of collaborative projects, and work as a sideperson stretching back to a 1995 Lionel Hampton album.

Mintz is Piket's husband (they married well after this recording was made). Three years ago, she made a solo piano recording of an entire CD's worth of his compositions. He also has a fascinating bio: already a gigging musician at the age of fifteen, and in his twenties recorded with Lee Konitz Nonet, Perry Robinson, and Gloria Gaynor, among others; during a period living in Los Angeles, he worked with an equally eclectic range of musicians, from Vinny Golia to Mose Allison to the Merv Griffin Show band. The style is free improvisation, but a quieter and more subtle form of free jazz than ESP is famous for.

Reboul is a unique player, and that's why ESP considers this an important release that adds to fans' knowledge of the NYC free scene."-ESP-Disk

Artist Biographies

Mark Reboul is a New York saxophonist, know for his ESP trio album with drummer Billy Mintz and pianist Roeberta Piket. He has recorded with Higher Primates' for their album Environmental Impressions (GM, 1987), playing sax on two of the percussion-heavy album's five tracks: a fragmentary track, and a sixteen-and-a-half-minute improvisation; he has a percussion cameo (playing waterphone) on Bill Gerhardt and Cotangent's Stained Glass (SteepleChase, 2007); and on Gaelen McKenna's self-released 2004 album Woodbach, a Reboul improvisation is manipulated and looped.

-ESP Disk 7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"The daughter of a European composer and a Great American Songbook singer, native New Yorker Roberta Piket is a pianist and organist who loves to swing while exploring the more adventurous harmonic possibilities of jazz and improvised music.Roberta's father was the Austrian composer Frederick Piket, whose works were performed by the New York Philharmonic under famed conductor Dimitri Mitropoulos. (The elder Piket, who passed away when Roberta was eight, is also renowned for his significant contribution to the musical liturgy of reform Judaism.)

From her mother, Cynthia, Roberta learned by ear the tunes of Porter, Gershwin, Kern, Rodgers, and Berlin (as well as accompanying lyrics).

In her early teens, a chance encounter with a classic LP rescued from a flea market changed the course of Roberta's life.Roberta Piket February 22, 2016 Photography by John AbbottPhoto by John AbbottPhotos Suitable for Print Media

Feature Articles and Clips"I found a few copies of an old Muse LP of Walter Bishop Jr.'s trio for 25 cents each at a fundraiser. I played it and just flipped. I fell in love with the sound of the jazz piano trio. The CD was called Speak Low, and I found the original sheet music for that tune in my mother's collection. I learned all the songs on that record," which, in addition to the title tune, included Alone Together, Milestones and On Green Dolphin Street.

Shortly after that epiphany, Roberta became fascinated with the 20th century classical recordings that had belonged to her late father. Soon she was dividing her time between the stacks of old sheet music in the attic, learning standards, and the Bartok and Schoenberg records and scores in her father's library. Sprinkled into the mix were a handful of Ellington scores borrowed from the New York Public Library, and saturation listening to WRVR-FM, the New York jazz radio station at the time.As her passion for music intensified, Roberta's mother tried to discourage her from the difficult path of a professional musician. As a compromise, she attended the joint five-year double-degree program at Tufts University and New England Conservatory.

"Coming from a high school with a strong liberal arts curriculum [New York's prestigious Hunter College High School], I was not opposed to continuing in the liberal arts tradition in college, rather than narrowing my focus only to music. I believed then, and still believe, that an artist needs to be stimulated by the surrounding culture and not live in a vacuum."

Roberta graduated with a degree in computer science from Tufts and a degree in jazz piano from New England Conservatory, but after a year as a software engineer, it was clear her heart was in music, and she returned to her native New York to study and play. After applying for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, she began to study with pianist Richie Beirach.

"I was so young and naive when I moved back to New York. I didn't really know much about Richie's music. It was sort of blind luck that I started studying with someone who was able to help me integrate my love of modern classical music into my jazz playing and composing."

As her artistry developed, Roberta found herself in the unusual situation of playing both "straight ahead" jazz as well as so-called "free" music. After a last minute gig subbing with the Lionel Hampton band brought her to the vibraphonist's attention, she was invited to play on two tunes for his upcoming CD. "The first CD I ever recorded was with Lionel Hampton. The production was a bit disorganized so I ended up doing a little of everything from helping Lionel rehearse the music, to writing out lead sheets for Ron Carter (who chastised me for writing diminished chords instead of dominant 7th chords), to helping in the editing stage. "

Around the same time, Marian McPartland would hear her as a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Composers Competition and invite her to appear as a featured guest on NPR's Piano Jazz, the first of three appearances she would make on the show. "Marian was a good friend to me and to countless young musicians," Roberta recalls.

A 1999 Japan tour with her own trio magically brought Roberta full circle. "The first night we arrived, I was sitting in my hotel room playing with the cable radio system. There were several jazz specialty stations. As soon as I turned on the radio, the first music I heard was a track from that long ago Walter Bishop Jr. LP, Speak Low. It was eerie and incredibly moving to be brought back to that moment when I first fell in love with the piano trio while on my first international tour with my own trio."

Roberta is a member of bassist Rufus Reid's Expedition and drummer Victor Jones' Orchestrio. Over the years, she has appeared professionally as a sidewoman with David Liebman, Lionel Hampton, Mickey Roker, Eliot Zigmund, Benny Golson, Ted Curson, Valery Ponomarev, Juini Booth, Frank London, Leo Johnson, Virginia Mayhew, the BMI/NY Jazz Orchestra. and Broadway/television legend Ben Vereen. She has also performed with some of the most interesting musicians in European and American improvised music, including drummers Klaus Kugel and Billy Mintz, bassist Hilliard Greene, and saxophonists Petras Vysniauskas, Roby Glod, Louie Belogenis, and Will Connell.

A gifted composer as well, Roberta was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk BMI Composers' Competition. She was also the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2018 Roberta won the Downbeat Critics Poll in the "Rising Star - Organ" category, and placed in the top 20 in the "Rising Star - Piano" category. In the 2018 Downbeat Readers' Poll, Roberta came in 8th in the Jazz Artist category (just behind luminaries Pat Metheny and Tony Bennett), 7th in the Piano category (following the legendary Keith Jarrett) and 5th in the Organ category.

Roberta is from Queens, NY. Her father gave her her first piano lessons when she was seven. Roberta began serious music studies in her early teens, studying jazz piano with Walter Bishop, Jr and classical piano with Vera Wels. While at New England Conservatory she studied privately with Fred Hersch, Stanley Cowell and Bob Moses. Upon returning to New York, in addition to six years of study with Richie Beirach, she studied briefly with Sofia Rosoff.

In addition to Japan, Roberta's trios have toured Spain and the U.S. She has performed at the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), at the Earshot Festival (Seattle), at the Rochester (NY) Jazz Festival, and in New York at Small's, Mezzrow's, the Blue Note, Birdland, and Dizzy's at Jazz at Lincoln Center. On her 2011 CD release, Sides, Colors, in addition to featuring her trio, she orchestrated several pieces for winds and strings, sang, and played organ as well.

In addition to her trio, an eclectic set of projects includes a duo with saxophonist Virginia Mayhew and the Nabokov Project, which sets poems by Vladimir Nabokov to music for piano, violin, mezzo-soprano, percussion, and speaker, blending neo-classical harmonic concepts with lush melodies and free improvisational sections.

A recent focus of Roberta's has been solo piano performance. Her 2012 CD, Solo, made the "ten best of the year" list of three jazz critics. A 2015 follow-up CD is called Emanation (Solo: Volume 2). On Roberta's most recent solo piano CD, Domestic Harmony: Piket Plays Mintz (2019), she performs the compositions of her husband, Billy Mintz. Recent solo concerts include Kostel sv. Vavřince in Prague, Reigen in Vienna, Palomar College in San Marcos, CA, An Die Musik in Baltimore and Smalls in New York City.

As an educator, Roberta has held master classes at the Eastman School of Music (where she performed solo and in duet with Marian McPartland), Rutgers University, Cal Arts, Duke University, the Northwestern University Composers' Colloquium, and others in the U.S., Europe and Japan. She has served as a panelist for the Queens Council on the Arts grant review process and has taught at the Litchfield Jazz Camp and the Vermont Jazz Center. She is also the author of the Jazz Piano Vocabulary series of workbooks.

Roberta occasionally performs on B3 organ at clubs such as the Harlem landmarks Showman's and the Charles Young American Legion post, as well as leading her own groups at Smalls and Mezzrow. She has written several big band compositions, and is also a self-described "closet singer". In recent years she has toured Europe several times, including France, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Ukraine and Spain.

The melding of different musical worlds in her youth resulted in Roberta's unique musical sensibilities and interests. Her numerous recordings reveal an artist equally at home playing standards (Solo, Emanation), free improvising (Poltva, Op Der Schmelz), and composing and arranging her own music (Sides, Colors; Live at the Blue Note). For Roberta, there are no genre boundaries, only the opportunity to make exceptional music."

-Roberta Piket Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Billy Mintz was born in Queens, New York. By the age of 15 he was playing in the show bands of the Catskill Mountain resorts developing his musicianship.

In his twenties, while living in New York City, he played and recorded with the Lee Konitz Nonet (1978), Kundalini with Perry Robinson and Badal Roy, the Eddie Daniels Quartet, Gloria Gaynor, the Steve Tintweiss Quartet, and the Harold Danko Quartet.

In 1981 Mr. Mintz relocated to Los Angeles where he was a member of the Mike Garson Trio with Stanley Clarke ; the Kim Richmond Sextet; the Bobby Shew Quintet, the Joey Sellers' Jazz Aggregation, and the Vinny Golia Quartet. He also perfomed several times with the Mose Allison Trio and with Mark Murphy, and did a stint with the Merv Griffin Show band.

In LA, Mr. Mintz was also the drummer for the Bill Mays Quartet, as well as for Road Work Ahead, with Mr. Mays, Bob Magnusson and Peter Sprague. In 1988 he toured Europe with saxophonist Charles Lloyd's band. Throughout the 1980's he performed and recorded with Bill Perkins, Frank Strazzeri, and Pete Cristlieb.

Throughout his life Mr. Mintz has taught privately and done clinics at schools around the world, including the Berklee School of Music, NYU, California Institute of the Arts, North Texas State University the Dick Grove School of Music, Musikgymnasium in Innsbruck, Austria, Long Island Drum and Percussion Club, Eagle Rock H.S., Arizona State University at Tempe, and University of Arizona at Phoenix,. He also taught extensively while on tour with various artists in Sydney, Australia, Tel Aviv, Israel and Wellington, New Zealand.

Mr. Mintz has written two books: Different Drummers (AMSCO Music Publishing) and Advanced Sticking and Sight-Reading (BM Publications). His articles have been published in Not Just Jazz and Modern Drummer magazines.

Mr. Mintz currently lives in New York, where he performs with the Alan Broadbent Trio, Roberta Piket Trio, the Russ Lossing Trio, and Tony Malaby, among others.

In recent years, Mr. Mintz has taken on new roles as a bandleader and composer. For the past 15 years he has led the Two Bass Band, a ten-piece ensemble which features his compositions and arrangements. He also leads the Billy Mintz Band (with Tony Malaby, Rich Perry, Adam Kolker, Hilliard Greene and Roberta Piket) and performs solo drumset concerts.

As a soloist Mr. Mintz has performed extensively on both coasts of the US as well as internationally."

-Billy Mintz Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. 7¾ 7:52

2. 10 10:07

3. 13 13:06

4. 3 3:08

5. 6¾ 6:48

6. 9 8:59

7. 11¾ 11:46

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Collective Free Improvsation
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New in Improvised Music

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